Posts in DataCommunication
3 ways to motivate and serve others

Living in America today most of us are blessed with both the remarkable ability to meet our many needs and the incredible gift of being able to choose how we do so. Yet with a plethora of sources of information, products, and services to choose from, it’s also never been more confusing. How do we choose to get our needs met? Study and experience have taught me that there are three basic motivations we have, three reasons we make the choices we do.

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Inspiring wise action: Practices for storytellers of all kinds

I feel so blessed to have received both an appetite for learning and a compulsion to share, and in this spirit of gratitude, I want not only to share this story, my story, with you, but also some useful ideas for how you might practice raising your hand and saying something important. I've broken my tips down in a simple way that speaks to both the scientifically and the creatively inclined.

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Telling Stories with Data: Dos and Don'ts for Beginners and Experts

Nowadays, we all seem to be swimming in endless data and information. This can present exciting opportunities to understand our work and its impact more deeply. It also means that if we want to help others understand, we need to be able to share data and information in ways that truly cut through the noise. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind as you create game-changing data stories.

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23+ podcasts for information and inspiration

This month I feel called to share something I never have before: a curated list of some of my favorite podcasts. I find podcasts to be both the most convenient and the most fun way to explore a diversity of perspectives on any given topic. Here's some that I go to for regular doses of inspiration and guidance. As my interests are so diverse, you are bound to stumble on some serendipitous conversations and connections.

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My 2017 Annual "Rapport"

It is time once again to glance backward, gather data and information, and reflect on the past year. To me, this is not merely an excuse to report-out facts and brag about accomplishments, rather it is an opportunity to share both the ups and downs in order to build rapport with you. Because it's always a mixed bag, right?

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Graphic recording: How to get started

Data visualization professionals often focus on numbers, helping to tell the story of what, when, where, and how much. But more often than not organizations first need to better understand the why and how (this is known as qualitative data). Before there is a need to communicate key insights, there is always a need to communicate first about what insights will matter most to the people involved, and therefore what data to plan, collect, analyze, and present. Graphic recording is a method for using visuals to support communication and understanding during real-time dialogue. Hand-drawn illustrations allow teams to simultaneously collect, analyze, and report qualitative data about people and groups.

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Using visuals to support your writing process

Many of us are well trained in using writing to develop and convey our insights, but only some of us learn how visuals can help us organize and communicate our ideas. It’s well worth learning what you can, because visuals have many unique abilities. The best visuals balance the use of thoughtful images and words, and the best writing balances thorough explanation and visualization. Writers that use visuals to describe their ideas help their readers better understand the frameworks of thinking that inform what the writer is seeking to convey, and they make it easier for readers to share those ideas with others.

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How to use visuals for analysis and discovery

Researchers often think to use visuals to present findings, overlooking the fact that to effectively communicate they must first fully understand the information themselves. While researchers may be surprised by the role visuals can play in their process, professional creatives like myself use visuals for observation, analysis, discovery and presentation. Researchers from all fields have a long history of using visuals as tools for analysis and discovery. No matter what purpose it serves, the type of visual that is best used all depends on what is being compared.

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